The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1918 War Diary
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
War Diary for January 1918
1-1-18 Battn Training.
2-1-18 Battn Training. Major A.E.Percival M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] returned from leave & took over command of the Battn.
3-1-18 Coy. Training, Brigade Cross Country Race in which Bn finished third.
4-1-18 J Camp International Corner Moved by Route March to J Camp arriving about 12.30 p.m. Roads very slippery owing to frost
5-1-18 Cleaning of Equipment & Short Route March.
6-1-18 Coy. Training, Lt.C.A.Lawrence [Charles Alfred LAWRENCE, MC] awarded the Military Cross
7-1-18 Exchange of Equipment, A & D Coys being fitted out in leather & B & C Coys in webbing.
8-1-18 Coy. Training in Strong Point Attack. Draft of 28 O.R. arrived.
9-1-18 Coy. Training. Platoon in attack.
10-1-18 54th Brigade moved into the line again in the HOUTHULST FOREST Sector in relief of 55th Inf. Bde. BABOON CAMP 1 pm 7th Bedfords relieved 7th Buffs in BABOON CAMP.
11-1-18 C Coy. practised wiring. Weather very cold. 5 pm B & D Coys. employed in carrying wiring material from KOKUIT DUMP to ADEN HOUSE - casualties 1 Killed. 2nd Lt.E.J.Scott [Ernest James SCOTT. MC] joined the Bn. & posted to B Coy.
12-1-18 9 am C Coy. practised wiring. On night 12/13th inst an extensive wiring scheme was carried out on the Brigade front. 80 O.R. of "C" Coy. were detailed to wire the left sub-sector, A Coy. finding the covering party. The work was successfully carried out with only 3 men wounded.
13-1-18 Btn rested at BABOON CAMP & carried out Pedicuric treatment (i.e. washing & Rubbing of feet).
14-1-18 Final preparations for taking over the line.
15-1-18 Btn relieved 11th Royal Fusiliers in the early morning the in left sub sector, relief being complete about 5 am. Night cold & frosty & relief carried out without incident. 15-1-18 Trenches HOUTHULST FOREST SECTOR Heavy rain all day & shell hole positions became very wet. Night very dark with high wind; fairly quiet day & night. A & B Coys. in front line, D in support & C in reserve.
16-1-18 Fine & bright, considerable enemy artillery activity. Carried out some wiring of front line posts by night. Inter Coy. relief commencing at midnight carried out without incident, C & D Coys front line A support B reserve.
17-1-18 Cold with snow showers. Much water again in front line posts which had to be constantly baled out. A considerable number of duck boards were carried up & put into these posts.
18-1-18 Fine & bright, considerable hostile shelling all day. D Coys H.Q.s received a direct hit, 3 men being wounded. 18-1-18 8 pm Relieved by 7th Buffs & proceeded by train from BOEZINGE to INTERNATIONAL CORNER, the Bn being accommodated again in J Camp. Total casualties while in the line 2 killed, 8 wounded. About 200 men were left behind at DUBLIN CAMP & underwent a special course of training. A draft of 12 O.R. had arrived while the Bn was in the line & a second draft of 11 O.R. arrived on 17th inst. Capt.Kingdon [Oliver KINGDON, MC] also rejoined on this date. Lt.Col.Mills D.S.O. [George Pilkington MILLS, DSO], having received an appointment under the Ministry of Munitions, is struck off the strength.
21-1-18 Kit inspection, clothing & cleaning up.
22-1-18 Short Route march & Foot Rubbing Drill.
23-1-18 Preparing to go into line. (Training Programme 20th/24th Jan attached).
24-1-18 12 noon Bn proceeded by train from J Camp to LOWER BABOON CAMP, entraining at BOEZINGE. A carrying party of 60 O.R. was provided.
LOWER BABOON CAMP 25-1-18 Laid duck boards & attended to drainage of camp.
26-1-18 Trenches HOUTHULST FOREST SECTOR 6 pm Relieved 11th Royal Fusiliers in left sub-sector, relief being completed without incident about 10 p.m.
27-1-18 Very misty all day, which prevented observation. Quiet. Carried out inter Coy. relief commencing at 8 p.m. "A" Coy relieving "D" in left sub-sector & "B" relieving "C" in right sub-sector.
28-1-18 Bright with good observation. Considerable artillery activity all day. 6 pm Relieved by 16th Lancashire Fusiliers (32nd Division) & proceeded to LARRY CAMP (near Elverdine). Casualties during time in line - 1 wounded on carrying party. Map showing HOUTHULST FOREST SECTOR. Map showing Posts [not attached].
29-1-18 LARRY CAMP Bathing & Cleaning up.
30-1-18 Proceeded by Route March to HEADQUARTERS CAMP, near KROMBEKE, arriving about 1 p.m.
31-1-18 Kit Inspection & refitting.
War Diary for February 1918
KROMBEKE 1-2-18 to 8-2-18 Major A.E.Percival M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] in Command Training.
9-2-18 to 10-2-18 Move to PROVEN by route march; to NOYON by train and to SALENCY by route march
SALENCY 11-2-18 Arrival of draft of 7 officers and 174 other ranks from 8th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt. which had been disbanded. Hostile Bombing raid. One bomb demolished a billet occupied by "C" Company. casualties: - Killed; 9 other ranks. Died of Wounds; 1 officer & 2 other ranks. Wounded; 6 other ranks
12-2-18 Training. Lieut. Colonel A.E.Percival, M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] in Command.
13-2-18 Training. Honours & Awards:- Belgian "Decoration Militaire" - 14827 Sergt.Rugman, C.G. "Croix de Guerre" - 12489 Corp.Baker, G.R. and 18416 L/Cpl.Stringer, G.
14-2-18 Move to CAILLOUEL
15-2-18 CAILLOUEL Move to REMIGNY TRAINING While the Battn. remains at REMIGNY and is engaged on the same working parties as at present, the following training will be carried out: - (a) For men who have been out the previous night - 11.30 am - 1 pm. (b) For men who have not been out the previous night - 9.30 am - 1 pm TRAINING WILL CONSIST OF: - (1) Rifle and Clothing inspections. (2) Extended Order Drill. (3) Platoon Strong Point attacks - chief lessons to be taught being Section leading, fire and movement and the employment of all arms of a platoon. Instruction of Lewis Gunners will be carried out whenever possible. 2.Lieut.T.H.Flavell [Thomas Henry FLAVELL] and 2/Lieut.D.Davies will arrange respectively for the training of Signallers and Scouts and Observers. If the requirements of Working parties do not prove too heavy, tactical exercises will be arranged for Officers and N.C.Os also for Lewis Gunners. Whenever possible "Specialists" should be left off working parties to enable them to receive higher training when these classes commence. An enemy should always be arranged for when platoons and Coys. are carrying out attack practices. (SGD) H.SEYS-PHILLIPS, Capt, & A/Adjt. 7TH (S) BATTALION BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT
16-2-18 Training. Working parties of 430 at night.
17-2-18 Training. Working parties of 430 at night and 24 by day, Capt.H.Seys-Phillips in Command vice Lieut.Col.A.E.Percival, M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] attending a training conference.
18-2-18 Training. Working parties as for 17th
19-2-18 Training. Working parties as for 17th.
20-2-18 Training. Working parties as for 17th.
21-2-18 Training. Working parties of 140 by day and 330 by night. Lieut.Col.A.E.Percival, M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] assumed Command vice Capt.H.Seys-Phillips.
22-2-18 Training. Working parties as for 21st.
23-2-18 Training. Working parties as for 21st.
24-2-18 Training. Working parties of 90 by day and 300 by night.
25-2-18 Training. Working parties as for 24th.
26-2-18 Move to BÉTHANCOURT.
27-2-18 BÉTHANCOURT Training.
28-2-18 Move to ROUEZ, Capt.O.Kingdon [Oliver KINGDON, MC] in Command vice Lieut.Col.A.E.Percival M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] acting Brigade Commander.
War Diary for March 1918
1-3-18 H.Q.s, A B & C Coys at ROUEZ CAMP; C Coy at NOUREUIL. Capt.O.Kingdon [Oliver KINGDON, MC] in temporary command of Bn. during absence of Lt.Col.A.E.Percival M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] commanding 54th Inf. Bde. Officers & N.C.O's reconnoitred assembly position in case of enemy attack. Draft of 5 O.R. arrived.
2-3-18 2nd Lt.R.W.Coutts R.F.C. joined Bn. for one month's tour of duty.
3-3-18 Orders issued showing action of Bn. in case of enemy attack.
4-3-18 Working Party of 6 officers & 400 O.R. employed in burying cable. Reconaissance of line carried out daily on this & following days. Capt.H.C.Browning [Herbert Compton BROWNING, MC] having returned from leave, took over duties of Adjutant.
5-3-18 Working Party of 4 officers & 400 O.R. burying cable. Draft of 12 O.R. arrived.
6-3-18 Working Party as for 5th. 2nd Lt.W.Kerr joined the Bn. from the Tank Corps.
7-3-18 Working Party as usual. Lt.Col.A.E.Percival [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] resumes command of the Bn.
8-3-18 Working Party as usual. Capt.W.J.W.Colley [William Joseph Wellesley COLLEY, MC & Bar] rejoined the Bn & took over duties of 2nd-in-command. Voluntary Rifle Shooting on Range commenced.
9-3-18 Working Party as usual.
10-3-18 Church Service 10 a.m. Dismounted & Mounted Gymkana in afternoon.
11-3-18 Training in Counter-attack formation & musketry. Officers Rifle Competition V.18th Div. Q.Q.s officers won by the Bn.
12-3-18 The following working parties found daily from 12/3/18 to 20/3/18. 2 Officers & 140 O.R. attached to 290th Bde. R.F.A. for construction of gun-pits at VOUEL. 2 Platoons "C" Coy. employed on increasing accommodation at NOUREUIL. 5 Officers & 240 O.R. employed on cable burying under 18th Div. Signal Section. Inter Platoon Rifle Competition commenced on this date & won by No.2 Platoon
13-3-18 to 17-3-18 Training of Lewis Gunners & other Specialists. Classes for officers & N.C.O's in afternoon.
18-3-18 2nd Lt.Balls [Bertie Henry BALLS] joined the Bn. & posted to D Coy.
20-3-18 Capt. R.O.Clark [Robert Oswald CLARK] proceeded to England on 6 months tour of duty. "Prepare for Attack" message received at 3 p.m. & all preparations made for Rapid Move.
21-3-18 [Comment: The First Battles of the Somme 1918 - the Battle of St Quentin] Enemy Bombardment started at 4.30 a.m. Morning very misty. 10.50am Received orders at 10.50 a.m. to move in Buses & rendezvous in HAUTE TOMBELLE WOOD, where Bn. arrived about 12 noon. 3pm received orders to occupy & hold the MONTESCOURT SWITCH, 7th Bedfords being in Brigade Reserve. 4.40pm Bn. moved forward & got into position about 7.30 p.m. "C" & "D" Coys supporting Royal Fusiliers & "A" & "B" Coys supporting Northamptons. Bn. Details left out of action were formed into 6 Platoons & occupied position just East of ROUEZ CAMP. 11pm Bn. received orders to fall back & take up position south of CROZAT CANAL.
22-3-18 CROZAT CANAL 7am Bn. in position, but all attempts to blow up bridge failed owing to lack of explosive. 5.45pm Heavy attack by enemy on LA MONTAGNE BRIDGE, "C" Coy. on left flank came under very heavy M.G. fire & were forced to retire, enemy crossing Bridge. Counter-attack by 2 Coys Northants, assisted by "C" Coy, restored situation & by 7.30 p.m. all enemy were thrown back across Bridge. Details engaged in fighting in neighbourhood of ROUEZ CAMP.
23-3-18 Morning very misty. 7am Enemy attacked again & effected crossing on right & left flanks of Brigade front. 10am owing to flanks being turned order received from brigade to retire to ridge in front of FAILLOUEL. 1pm Retirement successfully carried out & position taken up. FAILLOUEL 4pm Position in front of FAILLOUEL became untenable owing to high ground of left flank falling into hands of enemy. Order therefore received to fall back to high ground West of village. 7pm Received orders to rendezvous Bn. & march back to CAILLOUEL. Details heavily engaged in fighting near ROUEZ CAMP, finally falling back on VILLEQUIER AUMONT.
CAILLOUEL 24-3-18 10am Took up position in wood North of village: "B" & "D" Coys in front, "A" Coy in reserve. Enemy still advancing & pushing back French in front. 7pm Heavy attack on GUIVRY on our left flank: French fell back & left our flank exposed.
25-3-18 3am Orders received to fall back to CREPIGNY line, which was successfully carried out. Enemy now about 2 miles in rear of left flank. 10am Fell back again to MONT DU GRANDU to safeguard left flank. 12 noon Heavily fired on by French Artillery & M.G's & forced to retire to high ground West of GRANDU. GRANDU 3pm Received orders to march to VARESNES to take up position South of OISE: orders countermanded while en route & new orders received to counter-attack village of BABOEUF. Counter-attack successful & village retaken, several prisoners being taken & many enemy killed.
BABOEUF 26-3-18 2am Owing to enemy being in rear of left flank & nearly into NOYON, it was found necessary to evacuate village & retire across OISE; marched about 8 miles & billeted for day. 3pm Marched to NAMPZEL & thence to MESNIL where Bn. was accommodated for night in caves. Casualties to date:
(a) Officers 1 Killed 2nd Lt.Winmill [Westropp Orbell Payton WINMILL] 4 Wounded Capt.W.W.Colley [William Joseph Wellesley COLLEY, MC & Bar] 2nd Lt.R.S.Heard 2nd Lt.N.C.E.Cockburn [Noel Christy Everist COCKBURN] 2nd Lt.C.H.Pierce [Charles H. PIERCE] 1 Wounded & Missing 2nd Lt.R.A.Stiles 1 Missing 2nd Lt.R.W.Coutts
(b) O.R. [Other Ranks] Killed 22 Wounded 140 Wounded & Missing 4 Missing 99
MESNIL 27-3-18 3pm Marched to ST.AUBIN in reserve to 58th Division. The following letter has been received from Monsieur le General BREGARD, Commanding 1st Division, Dismounted Cavalry: - "During the Operations of the 24th/25th March, the 18th Division with two Brigades of Artillery, commanded by General LEE has been put under my orders. With regard to this, I wish to bring to your notice the splendid attitude and the brilliant bearing [of] the 54th Brigade and the 8th and 83rd Artillery Brigades. I wish to bear testimony to the perfect "camaraderie" which those General Officers and their units placed under their commands have never ceased to show, as also to the superb bearing of their troops. It is thanks to their splendid and dogged defence that I have been able to free on my right a situation often difficult, especially at the time of retirement on to the South Bank of the OISE on the night of 25th/26th March." sd C.BRECARD (Comment; this entry was translated from French)
28-3-18 to 29-3-18 St.Aubin.
30-3-18 3am Marched to NAMPZEL where Bn. embussed & travelled via COMPIEGNE, ST.JUST, AMIENS to BOVES, where Bn. was accommodated for night.
31-3-18 8.30am Marched to GENTELLES in support to front line. 4pm Called out to reject enemy attack, latter did not materialise & Bn. returned to billets at 9 p.m. Casualties: - 2 wounded. Mar 1918
War Diary for April 1918
GENTELLES 1-4-18 Battalion in billets at GENTELLES. Went up at dusk and returned [sic relieved?] 6th Northants in line to left of HANGARD.
2-4-18 Quiet night & morning. Shelled occasionally during day. Carried out an attack in evening in conjunction with Royal Fusiliers. Progress made, but owing to overwhelming superiority of enemy artillery & machine gun fire battalion ordered to withdraw. Casualties: Officers: Lt.M.C.DUPLOCK [Martin Cave DUPLOCK] killed Lt.R.L.V.DOAKE [Richard Lionel Vere DOAKE, DSO, MC], Lt.BALLS [Bertie Henry BALLS], LT.CRAIG [Gordon Robert CRAIG] wounded Capt. Stevenson [T. STEVENSON, RAMC] wounded. Other Ranks 2 killed 48 wounded 4 missing. Relieved in line about 10 pm & returned to billets at GENTELLES.
3-4-18 In billets resting, and cleaning of equipment &c. "Dear Colonel I am enclosing you the result of the operation yesterday evening. I cannot express to you my admiration for the determination, and gallantry displayed by your Battalion. Although the attack made by your Regiment was unable to make headway in the face of overwhelming Artillery and Machine Gun Fire, the manner in which they held their ground is beyond praise and drew the whole of the enemy's strength, so that the troops co-operating on your left were able to get on to the objective. The Northamptonshire Regt. have pushed up on the right, and the whole objective is now in our possession. I mourn with you, for the loss of so many gallant Officers and men, which I fear was inevitable in so stiff an engagement. I hope you will convey to all ranks under your Command, the information that all the objective has been gained, and this is entirely due to their magnificent steadiness and behaviour in the face of overwhelming odds in artillery and machine guns. I hope you will convey the contents of this letter to all ranks in your Battalion The Northamptonshire Regiment have now direct observation on AUBERCOURT. Yours very truly sd/ L.W.SADLEIR JACKSON, Brigadier General 3.4.18 Commanding 54th Infantry Brigade"
4-4-18 [Comment: The First Battles of the Somme 1918 - The Battle of the Avre] GENTELLES shelled during day. A and D Coys moved up in Support to 6th Northants but did not go into action. Returned to billets in evening. Casualties. Other Ranks 7 killed 10 wounded.
5-4-18 Battalion in billets. Battalion again moved up in support to 6th Northants, but not need [sic] & returned to billets in evening. Shelled in billets. Other Ranks. 2 killed 13 wounded. 18th Division No.G.563 Following message received from XIX Corps:- To: -18th Division. G.534. 5th April "please accept on your behalf and that of all ranks of the 18th Div. my heartiest congratulations on the splendid work done by the Division since joining the Nineteenth Corps. The results achieved by the fine fighting spirit and powers of endurance displayed have been of the greatest importance and I am most grateful to all concerned: Lieutenant General Commanding XIX Corps"
6-4-18 Morning devoted to cleaning of equipment etc. In afternoon marched to billets at BOVES. Casualties. Other Ranks 1 wounded.
BOVES 7-4-18 Battalion in billets and bathed during morning & afternoon.
8-4-18 Morning devoted to cleaning of equipment & refitting. Draft of 52 Other Ranks joined battalion [overwritten in original] of good physique.
9-4-18 Company training during morning. Battalion marched to BOUTILLERIE in afternoon and went into billets.
10-4-18 In billets. Kit inspections &c. during day.
11-4-18 In billets. Specialist training & organisation.
12-4-18 In billets. Specialist training & organisation. Promotions as per attached B.O.61. PROMOTIONS & APPOINTMENTS. The Commanding Officer has been pleased to make the following Promotions and Appointments:
15937 Cpl.L/Sgt.Chandler F.C. "A" Coy. to be Sgt vice 15937 vice Cpl.L/Sgt.Chandler, F. "A" Coy. Promoted Sgt. 23.3.18
20454 Cpl.L/Sgt.Cooper W.J. "A" Coy to be Sgt. vice 24.3.18. 20454 Cpl.L/Sgt.Cooper W.J. "A" Coy. Promoted Sgt. 27.3.18. 20454 vice Cpl/L/Sgt.Cooper W.J. "A" Coy. Promoted Sgt. 23.3.18.
16475 Cpl.L/Sgt.Phypers H. "A" Coy. to be Sgt. vice 27.3.18. 16475 Cpl.L/Sgt.Phypers H. "A" Coy. promoted Sgt. 5.4.18 16475 vice Cpl.L/Sgt.Phypers H. "A" Coy. promoted Sgt. 5.4.18. 16475 Sgt.Phypers H. is transferred from "A" to "C" Company with effect from 11.4.18.
14780 Sgt.Mears J. "A" Coy. Wounded 23.3.18.
14554 Sgt.Blake, W. "A" Coy. Wounded 23.3.18.
8736 Cpl.Butler W. "A" Coy. is appointed L/Sgt. vice 24.3.18.
15196 Cpl.L/Sgt.Poole W.E.G. "A" Coy. Killed 22.3.18.
13459 Cpl.Baker G.R. "A" Coy. is appointed L/Sgt. vice 24.3.18.
3/7525 L/C.Holton A. "A" Coy. to be Corpl. 24.3.18. 3/7535 vice L/C.Holton W. "A" Coy. Promoted Cpl. 24.3.18.
201981 vice L/C.Turvey E. "A" Coy. Died of Wds. 21.3.18.
20296 U.P.L/C.Tearle T. "A" Coy. is appointed Pd.L/C. 24.3.18.
14852 vice L/C.Bull J. "A" Coy. Missing 23.3.18.
10879 U.P.L/C. Neale W.J. "A" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 25.3.18.
43301 vice L/C.Hurlock E. "A" Coy. Wounded 23.3.18.
16210 U.P.L/C.Tucker H. "A" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 26.3.18.
40170 Pte.Clarke J.S. "A" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 9.4.18.
31670 Pte.Smith A. "A" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 11.4.18
40129 Cpl.L/Sgt.Kemble [comment; A Co.] H. Promoted Sgt. 24/3/18. 40129 Sgt.Kemble H. "A" Coy. P.&.B.T. Instructor attached to "B" Company. 11.4.18 [comment; 40120 in B Co?]
33776 Sgt.Buckingham, W. "B" Coy. Killed 23.3.18.
40120 Cpl.L/Sgt.Kemble H. "B" Coy. to be Sergt vice 24.3.18. [sic: should be 40129 from A Co.] 40129 vice Cpl.L/Sgt.Kemble H. "B" Coy. Promoted Sgt. 24.3.18.
15083 Cpl.Swannell H. "B" Coy. to be Act.Sgt. vice 5.4.18. 15083 vice Cpl.Swannell H. "B" Coy. promoted Act.Sgt. 22.3.18 15083 Act.Sgt.Swanell H. "B" Coy. Employed as Gas Sergt. 11.4.18
22361 Cpl.Boness J. "B" coy. to be Act.Sgt. vice 22.3.18. 22361 vice Cpl.Boness J. "B" Coy. promoted Act.Sgt. 24.3.18.
13772 Sgt.Morris J. "B" Coy. Wounded and Missing 23.3.18.
16553 Sgt.Dawbon W. "B" Coy. Wounded 23.3.18.
15459 Cpl.Collins D. "B" Coy. is appointed Act.Pd.L/Sgt. vice 6.4.18.
18419 L/C.Moss B.S. "B" Coy. to be Corpl. to complete establishment.
15975 L/C.Turner W. "B" Coy. to be Corpl. 24.3.18. 15975 vice L/C.Turner W. "B" Coy. Promoted Cpl. 24.3.18.
33842 vice Cpl.Wale L. [sic] "B" Coy, Killed 23.3.18.
29884 L/C.Fleckney A.J. "B" Coy. to be Corpl. 24.3.18
15139 vice Cpl.Seabrook A. "B" Coy. Killed 23.3.18.
23070 U.P.L/C.Weeks R.C. "B" Coy. to be Corpl. 25.3.18.
0034 U.P.L/C.Hammond J. "B" Coy. to be Corpl. 28.3.18.
15722 U.P.L/C.Squire T.J. "B" Coy. to be Corpl. 6.3.18.
10359 U.P.L/C.Slatter G. "B" Coy. to be Act.Cpl. 24.3.18.
13145 U.P.L/C. Weston L. "B" Coy. is appointed Pd.L/C. 25.3.18. 13145 U.P.L/C. Weston L. "B" Coy. is appointed Pd.L/C. 25.3.18.
29824 vice L/C.Fleckney A.J. "B" Coy. Promoted Cpl. 24.3.18.
16595 U.P.L/C.Batchelor F. "B" Coy. is appointed Pd.L/C. 24.3.18.
15730 U.P.L/C.Sturgeon H.G. "B" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 25.3.18.
14625 vice L/C.Chapman W.J. "B" Coy. Missing 25.3.18.
33108 U.P.L/C.Wright H.E. "B" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 26.3.18.
29983 U.P.L/C.Dungar W. "B" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 26.3.18.
32287 vice L/C.Cox C. "B" Coy. Wounded 23.3.18.
12785 U.P.L/C.Stokes F. "B" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 3.4.18.
6698 vice L/C.Nash A. "B" Coy. Wounded 2.4.18.
25812 U.P.L/C.Deal W.C. "B" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 3.4.18.
14775 U.P.L/C.Stiles H.M. "B" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 3.4.18
15401 vice L/C.Miles A. "B" Coy. Wounded 4.4.18.
14845 Act.Pd.L/C.Watts E.J. "B" Coy. is confirmed in his rank 23.2.18 [comment; confirmed 9.4.18]
10358 Act.Cpl.Slatter G. "B" Company employed as Scout Corpl. 11.4.18
14827 Sgt.Rugman C. "C" Coy. Killed 22.3.18.
19446 Cpl.L/Sgt.Chapman W.A. "C" Coy. to be Sgt. vice 23.3.18. 19446 pl.L/Sgt.Chapman W. "C" Coy. Promoted Sgt. 24.3.18. 19446 vice Cpl.L/Sgt.Chapman W.A. "C" Coy. Promoted Sgt. 24.3.18.
33455 vice L/C.Chapman A. "C" Coy. Wounded 23.3.18.
33459 Sgt.Odell W. "C" coy. Missing 21.3.18.
14446 Cpl.Jaggard S.W. "C" Coy to be Act.Sgt. vice 24.3.18.
40689 Cpl.Buxton W. "C" Coy. to be Act.Sgt. vice 24.3.18.
32631 Cpl.Trussell A. "C" Coy to be Act.Sgt. vice 4.3.18.
15937 Cpl.L/Sgt.Chandler W [sic] "C" Coy. Promoted Sgt. 23.3.18.
15141 Cpl.Osmond J.J. "C" Coy is appointed L/Sgt. vice 25.3.18.
13695 Cpl.King R.G. "C" Coy. is appointed L/Sgt. vice 25.3.18.
18267 L/C.Brett, H. "C" Coy. to be Corpl. 24.3.18.
270920 L/C.Talbot F. "C" Coy. to be Corpl. 25.3.18.
19796 vice Cpl.Parles B. "C" Coy. Died of Wds. 6.4.18.
14446 vice Cpl.Jaggard S.W. "C" Coy. Promoted Act.Sgt. 24.3.18.
9260 U.P.L/C. Emery W.S. "C" Coy. is appointed Pd.L/C. 24.3.18.
19231 U.P.L/C.Wilsher J. "C" Coy. is appointed Pd.L.C. 24.3.18.
18267 vice L/C.Brett H. "C" Coy. Promoted Cpl. 25.3.18.
270930 vice L/C.Talbot F. "C" Coy. Promoted Cpl. 25.3.18.
14797 U.P.L/C. Pope W. "C" Coy. is appointed Pd.L/C. 25.3.18
13581 vice L/C.Turney H. "C" Coy. To England 24.5.18.
15763 U.P.L/C. Tarburr E. "C" Coy to be Act.Pd.L/C. 25.3.18.
28407 vice L/C.Appleby E. "C" Coy. Wounded 2.4.18.
15770 vice L/C.Welch E. "C" Coy. Wounded 8.4.18.
14434 vice L/C. Clarke E. "C" Coy. Evacuated 8.4.18.
33798 vice L/C.Clifton H. "C" Coy. Evacuated 8.4.18.
14446 Act.Sgt.Jaggard S.W. "C" Coy employed as Scout Sergt. 11.4.18
17767 Sgt.Bradfield F. "D" Coy. Wounded 23.3.18.
290208 Sgt.Colbert W. "D" Coy. Died of Wds. 26.3.18.
12471 Sgt.Dring J. "D" Coy. Killed 4.4.18.
16540 Cpl.Goldhawk G. "D" Coy to be Act.Sgt. vice 24.3.18.
24034 vice L/C.Webb A.J. "D" Coy. promoted Cpl. 24.3.18. 240584 Cpl.Webb A.J. "D" Coy. employed on Sanitary Duties. 11.4.18 240594 L/C.Webb A.J. "D" Coy. to be Corpl. 24.3.18.
14397 Sgt.Whiting J. "D" Coy. To England 23.3.18.
15195 Cpl.Goodwin S.R.M. "D" Coy is appointed L/Sgt. vice 28.3.18.
3/7662 Cpl.L/Sgt. Smith R. "D" Coy. Missing 23.3.18.
19152 Cpl.Williams A. "D" Coy. is appointed L/Sgt. vice 23.3.18.
43327 vice Cpl.Mortimer W. "D" Coy. Killed 23.3.18.
15610 U.P.L/C.Halsey R.C. "D" Coy. to be Act.Cpl. 7.4.18
14351 U.P.L/C. Ravenscroft C. "D" coy. to be Act.Cpl. 22.3.18
13212 U.P.L/C.Smith H.G. "D" Coy. is appointed Pd.L/C. 24.3.18.
27598 U.P.L/C.Moulter W. "D" Coy. is appointed Pd.L/C. 22.3.18.
22752 vice L/C.Meadows A. "D" Coy. Missing 23.3.18.
31075 U.P.L/C.Cole H.T. "D" Coy. to be Act.Pd.L/C. 5.4.18.
41532 Pte.Newell W.T.W. "D" Coy. to be Unpaid L/Cpl. 9.4.18.
12701 vice L/C.Birch F. Category B.188.8.131.52.
13-4-18 to 15-4-18 In billets training. Specialist training concentrated on. Football in afternoons.
16-4-18 In billets. Draft of 97 Other Ranks joined battalion. Lt.Col.A.E.Percival M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] proceeded to England on duty for 7 days and CAPT.H.C.BROWNING [Herbert Compton BROWNING, MC] took over command of battalion. Capt.H.Seys-Phillips took over duties of Acting Adjutant.
17-4-18 In billets. Battalion training & organisation.
18-4-18 In billets. Battalion training & organisation.
19-4-18 In billets. Specialist training & inspection of Transport. Brig.Genl.H.L.de Vere Sadleir-Jackson C.M.G. D.S.O. presented parchments to number of N.C.O's and men.
20-4-18 Battalion moved to fresh billets in BOUTILLERIE. Draft of 72 other ranks arrived. Mostly of very good physique.
21-4-18 In billets. Battalion attended Brigade demonstration of Tactical Handling of Lewis Guns. Draft of 1 Officer of [sic] 52 Other Ranks arrived. Capt.G.Jarvis, Smith C.F. and 2/Lt.W.Hughes [William HUGHES, MC] awarded M.C.
22-4-18 In billets. Specialist training carried out.
23-4-18 In billets. Specialist training carried out. Reinforcement of 9 officers joined battalion. Capt.W.W.Colley [William Joseph Wellesley COLLEY, MC & Bar] authorised to wear badges of Major. Capt.H.C.Browning [Herbert Compton BROWNING, MC] appointed adjutant from 11-2-18. Lt.Col.A.E.Percival M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] returned from England & took over command of battalion.
24-4-18 [Comment: The action at Villers-Bretonnuex] In billets. Battalion ordered to "stand to" at 4 am. Moved up to line by stages during the day & took up position just South of CACHY. Battalion ordered to do counter attack at 10 p.m. From information received the enemy had penetrated our defenses to a depth of 2000 yds (approx.) on a wide frontage. Battalion was formed up in position for attack with Royal West Kents on right and Australians on left. Night was intensely dark. Battalion moved forward to the assault and encountered slight opposition for first 1000 yds. When battalion on our right was held up by heavy machine gun fire. The reserve Company was ordered forward at this stage & thus reinforced the assault was continued & final objective reached in spite of fierce enemy opposition & with two exposed flanks. The left company of battalion was ordered to withdraw in order to conform with line of battalion on left. The right flank still remained exposed. At this stage 2/Lt.Tysoe [William TYSOE, DSO, MC] (in Action 25-4-18) was the only Company Officer left. Lt.Tysoe reorganised the line & sent in very clear reports as to the situation as known to him. As a result of this a section of the 54th Machine Gun Coy was ordered forward to cover the exposed right flank - a weak line being formed of headquarter details. During the whole of the 25th April. Lt.Tysoe held this line & repulsed an enemy attack on his right flank, which was launched after a heavy bombardment. Frontage held by battalion 1100 yds. About 10 p.m. the battalion was relieved by French Colonials & marched to bivouacs in Support in rear of our original line. During this action the regiment alone took over 200 prisoners. Many enemy dead were observed on the captured ground. Five enemy machine guns were captured during this action & handed over to the French on relief. Throughout the action 2/Lt.Tysoe displayed the greatest gallantry and leadership & the success of this difficult operation was largely due to his efforts. The bearing of all ranks was most commendable, and deserving of the highest praise. Casualties: Officers: Capt.O.Kingdon [Oliver KINGDON, MC], Capt.A.B.McBride [Andrew Best McBRIDE, MC], Lt.C.A.Lawrence M.C. [Charles Alfred LAWRENCE, MC] killed Lt.H.F.Trewman, 2/Lt.S.A.Peerless, 2/Lt.W.Carter [W.C. CARTER, MC], 2/Lt.Kerr [W. KERR] 2/Lt.G.H.Koch D.C.M., 2/Lt.J.W.Partridge, 2/Lt.E.J.Scott [Ernest James SCOTT. MC] wounded. Casualties: Other Ranks 13 killed 105 wounded 70 missing.
CACHY 26-4-18 In bivouacs. Battalion resting & cleaning.
27-4-18 Battalion moved to AVESNES, marching to AMIENS thence by busses.
28-4-18 to 30-4-18 In billets. Cleaning of equipment, bathing, reorganising & refitting.
War Diary for May 1918
1-5-18 Battalion Training. Congratulatory messages received from General Brecard (French Army), G.O.C. 19th Corps & G.O.C. 54th Infantry Brigade. Reinforcements: 15 O.R. from the Base.
2-5-18 Battalion Training. Reinforcements: 66 O.R. from the Base. Honours & Awards see Appendix II.
Appendix 2. Bar to Military Medal: - 15084 Sgt.H.Swannell. 14782 Sgt.G.C.Stuckey. Military Medal: - 13780 C.Q.M.S. J.W.Pollard. 3/7825 Cpl.A.Holton. 15850 Pte.A.G.Smith. 15755 Pte.A.Thorby. 3/8485 Sgt.W.Renny. 433275 Pte.H.Brunt. 29695 Pte.F.Cootes. 22631 Sgt.H.Trussell. 15626 Pte.F.Fyson. 14787 Pte.W.H.Dyer.
3-5-18 Battalion Training.
4-5-18 Battalion Training.
5-5-18 Battalion Training.
WARLOY [-BAILLON] 6-5-18 9.30am Embussed at WARLUS (H.20.c.7.8) & proceeded to CONTAY, marching to WARLOY (AMIENS 17). Battalion relieved 21st London Regt. in Brigade Reserve. "A" Coy in HILL ROW. "B" Coy in DARLING SUPPORT. "C" Coy in VILLA RESERVE. "D" Coy in COPSE TRENCH. Battalion H.Q. in LAVIEVILLE (D.11.a.0.8).
In Reserve 7-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions.
8-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions. Capt.L.H.Keep, M.C. [Leslie Howard KEEP, MC] took over duties of 2nd in Command. 3/8112 Sergt.T.A.Smith awarded the Military Medal.
9-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions.
10-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions.
11-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions.
12-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions. 10 am Battalion H.Q. heavily shelled with 5.9's & eventually blown in. No casualties. New Batt. H.Q. at N. end of LAVIÉVILLE.
13-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions. LAVIÉVILLE heavily shelled all day with 5.9s & 8 in Hows. Battalion H.Q. moved to shell-slits W. of cemetery & when shelled there moved to Brigade H.Q. in Quarry W. of Cemetery. Battalion relieved 7th Buffs in LAVIÉVILLE line.
14-5-18 Lt.Col.A.E.Percival M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] awarded the D.S.O. Capt.H.C.Browning [Herbert Compton BROWNING, MC] awarded the M.C. Reinforcements: 2nd Lieut.S.A.Peerless & 52 O.R. from the Base. 15-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions.
16-5-18 "A", "B" & "C" Coys withdrawn from LAVIÉVILLE line to BAIZIEUX. "D" Coy & Lewis Guns of "B" & "C" Coys remained in position till night & then relieved. Capts A.B.McBride [Andrew Best McBRIDE, MC] and R.L.V.Doake [Richard Lionel Vere DOAKE, DSO, MC] awarded the M.C. Also Capt.T.Stevenson (R.A.M.C. attached) awarded the M.C. 14591 Sergt.A.Scott awarded the D.C.M. [Alexander SCOTT, DCM].
In the Line 17-5-18 Night Battalion relieved the 10th Bn. Essex Regt. in the left sub- 17/18th sector of the right sector of the Divisional front. "B" Coy in the front line, "D" Coy in support, "A" & "C" Coys counter-attack Coys. 7 O.R. in Base.
18-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions.
19-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions. Honours & Awards: see Appendix VIII. Reinforcements: - Lieut.W.S.Oliver Jones & 58 O.R. from Base. Chinese attack successfully carried out.
Appendix 8. The Military Cross: - Captain O.Kingdon [Oliver KINGDON, MC] 2nd Lieut.W.G.Carter The Distinguished Conduct Medal.:- 26539 Pte.G.Peacock [George PEACOCK, DCM]. Bar to Military Medal:- 14854 Cpl.J.Robertson. 14681 Pte.A.G.Bailey The Military Medal:- 13293 Pte.R.J.Minns 49694 Pte.G.A.Hughes 14931 Pte.S.Winch 25384 Pte.H.J.Sear 20405 Pte.F.Millward 15371 Pte.F.G.Parker 14934 Sgt.G.A.Holloway
20-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions. 15023 Sergt.S.Walby awarded the Military Medal.
21-5-18 "C" Coy relieved "B" Coy in the front line, & "A" Coy relieved "D" in Support, "B" & "C" Coys. becoming counter-attack companies. Reinforcements: 16 O.R. from Base.
22-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions.
23-5-18 Battalion in same dispositions. Reinforcements: 4 O.R. from Base.
24-5-18 Battalion relieved at night by 22nd London Regt.
WOOD E. of BÉHENCOURT 25-5-18 (AMIENS 17). Reinforcements: 14 O.R. from Base.
26-5-18 Battalion training.
27-5-18 Battalion absorbed by the 2nd Battalion. Casualties during the Month: Lieut.E.A.Hague [Ernest Alfred HAGUE] wounded 21-5-18. 4 O.R. Killed. 23 O.R. wounded. 1 O.R. missing. 2 O.R. wounded & remained at Duty.
28-5-18 Battalion at Training and Reorganising. Temp.Sec.Lieut.W.Tysoe [William TYSOE, DSO, MC] awarded the D.S.O. 2nd Lieut.E.J.Scott [Ernest James SCOTT. MC] awarded the M.C. 22361 Sergt.J.Boness & 18570 Sergt.H.G.Robinson awarded the D.C.M.
29-5-18 Battalion training & reorganising.
30-5-18 Battalion training & reorganising.
31-5-18 Battalion moved to valley W. of HENENCOURT WOOD. Strength of Battalion on absorbing 7th Battalion: - 46 Officers & 1000 O.R. Remaining personnel & surplus transport were sent to the Base. Lieut.Col.A.E.Percival, D.S.O. M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] commanded the Battalion from 28/5/18. Casualties since 27/5/18: - Nil.
[Comment; The rest is the Training Cadre War Diary]
25-5-18 The 7th Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment was transferred to the 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment. The 2nd and 7th Bns then became 2nd Bn. the Bedfordshire Regiment. At 6.30 A.M. a Party consisting as follows was formed into a Training cadre and became known as the 7th Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment. LIEUT.COL.R.O.WYNNE D.S.O. [Richard Owen WYNNE, DSO] Commanding Officer MAJOR J.T.COE [John Thomas COE] Adjutant CAPT. J.K.BATTEN [Joseph Keith BATTEN] Company Commander CAPT. F.EVERITT Company Commander CAPT. S.E.CLINE Company Commander CAPT. R.E.OAKLEY M.C. Company Commander 2/LIEUT.J.KERR Lewis Gun Officer 2/LIEUT.W.Ashton [William ASHTON, MC] Scout Officer 2/LIEUT.H.FLAVELL [Thomas Henry FLAVELL] Signalling Officer and 50 other ranks. The 7th Bn. Training cadre left at 6.30 A.M. 26th May to help Train the American Army, entraining at POULAINVILLE for CHÉPY-VALINES, arriving at 3.30 P.M. 27th. We then marched to Billets at ROGEANT about 6½ miles S.W. of ABBEVILLE.
ROGEANT 27-5-18 Owing to non arrival of American Units no training was undertaken.
War Diary for June 1918
2-6-18 H, I and K Companies of 129th Infy. 33rd Division arrived & Training Commenced.
5-6-18 L & M Companies Arrived.
9-6-18 The 33rd American Div. left for EU Area. We remained at ROGEANT.
MONCHAUX 12-6-18 Left ROGEANT at 2.15 pm and marched to billets at MONCHAUX about 24 Miles E. of DIEPPE ref Map DIEPPE 1/100,000 Arriving at 8 p.m.
15-6-18 Left MONCHAUX at 1 pm and marched to billets at YZENGREMER about 7 Miles E of LE TREPORT ref Map ABBEVILLE 1/100,000. Arriving at 4.30 pm & came under 89th Infy Brigade 30th Division.
YZENGREMER 16-6-18 Commenced Training 1st & 2nd Battns of 129th Infy Regt.
17-6-18 Capt.J.K.BATTEN [Joseph Keith BATTEN] 4/BEDF.R and Captain F.EVERETT 6th N'hants Regt left to join their respective Battalions for Duty.
19-6-18 Transferred from 30th to 66th Division & came under 90th Brigade. Capt.A.F.MACKENZIE 2/A&SH Capt.H.W.WALTER 10/Middlesex Joined for Duty.
BÉHEN 21-6-18 Left YZENGREMER at 8.30 am with 33rd American Div & marched to Billets at BÉHEN about 6 miles SW of ABBEVILLE Arriving at 5 p.m.
ERGNIES 22-6-18 Left BÉHEN at 9 am & marched to billets at ERGNIES about 6 miles NE of FLIXECOURT at Map LENS Arriving at 5 pm.
23-6-18 Continued Training 1st Bn 129th Regt. OCCOCHES 27-6-18 Left ERGNIES at 9.15 am & marched to billets at OCCOCHES about 3 Miles N.W. of DOULLENS ref map LENS Arriving at 3 p.m. LE SOUICH 28-6-18 Left OCCOCHES at 9.15 am & marched to billets at LE SOUICH about 5 Miles N. of DOULLENS ref Map LENS. Arriving at 11 am. came Under 197th Infy Brigade 66th Division.
29-6-18 Commenced training 2nd & 3rd Battns of 107th Infy Regt 27th American Div.
War Diary for July 1918
3-7-18 Left Le Souich at 8.30 a.m. for billets at IVERGNY and BEAUDRICOURT with H.Qrs at IVERGNY arriving at 9 a.m.
6-7-18 2/Lieut.J.J.ACTON 11th S.Lancs Regt proceeded to join 11th Border Regt for duty.
7-7-18 320th Regt 160th Infy Bde 80th Div arrived.
8-7-18 Commenced training 2nd & 3rd Bns 320th Regt.
18-7-18 Q.Mr.& Hon.Lieut.E.MONKS, Royal Scots joined.
CANDAS 21-7-18 Left IVERGNY at 9.45 a.m. for CANDAS arriving at 4 p.m.
SERGUEUX 22-7-18 Entrained at CANDAS at 9.45 a.m. for SERGUEUX about 30 miles S.W. of DIEPPE arriving at 10 p.m.
23-7-18 Left SERGUEUX at 10 a.m. for camp about 1 mile West of ABANCOURT arriving at 4 p.m.
ABANCOURT CAMP 24-7-18 Orders received that the Battalion is to be disbanded and all personnel to proceed to Base
25-7-18 Orders received to cancel disbandment.
29-7-18 Orders received for Battalion to join and be absorbed into the 2nd Battalion.
31-7-18 Entrained at ROMESCAMPS at 3.45 p.m. to join the 2nd Bn Bedfordshire Regiment
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